Armchair GM

While our biggest problem last year was our lack of consistency in our rotation, I would actually focus on trading for an outside-the-box candidate for our hole at first base. I think a large trade would reinvigorate not only the free agent market (making Boston a desirable destination again) but also the fan base. I would trade Felix Doubront, Alex Wilson, and Garrin Cecchini to the Royals for DH/First basemen Billy Butler.

The Royals are in desperate need for pitching as evident in paying Jeremy Guthrie 36 million. I think the bundling of two of our top 15 prospects as well as Doubront would pry "Country Breakfast" from their arms. Based on Country Breakfast's homerun spread chart I think he would become a big fan of the Green Monster ( (Also his nickname is Country Breakfast which is the best nickname since Slappy McBluelips.) While I am a big fan of Prince Felix, I think his pitching style would be better suited in a larger park.

Secondly I would trade Saltalamachia, Ryan Sweeney, and perhaps Jerry Sands to the Rays for one of their 8 million pitchers. (Seriously, do the Rays have a breeding facility for awesome young pitchers?). I was thinking specifically Alex Cobb as he seems to be one of the more expendable pitchers. He's also a Boston native, which I think would bode well with Sox fans. While this trade does break with the "don't trade within your division" mantra, I think getting a quality young pitcher is paramount.

To excite the fan base and to spend some of the money saved in the Punto Trade, I would also sign Hamilton to a 3 year 85 million dollar deal (with a player option for 20 million in the 4th year and a team option for 15 million in the fifth-the deal then becomes 5 years 120 million) I think all the teams are waiting to see who stops the bulldozer in this game of Hamilton-chicken ( and I would like to see the Red Sox be aggressive in the market. I also think we are in a unique position of being able to blow any other team's offer away. As we all saw in 2008, Hamilton seems to be a fan of the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium.

After the signing of Hamilton I would also pursue Dan Haren as a fourth starter, while also signing Shaun Marcum and Jason Bay to low term contracts. I think Haren could be signed for a 10 million 1 year deal with four mill guaranteed.

I would also let Alfredo "If Bobby V ends up dead it was me" Aceves and Morales compete against Haren for the fifth spot. Aceves, Morales, and Marcum also offer some backup in-case Lackey (or any of the other starters) crap the bed again. I would also pursue Carlos Villanueva, as another pitcher to compete for the fifth spot. Loading up on long relief pitchers will offer us trade flexibility throughout the year as well as protection in case the injury-bug (which at this point seems to be the roach from MIB) returns.

Our 2013 Lineup

Jacoby Ellsbury CF .294/.346/.436

Dustin Pedroia 2B .296/.367/.459

David "Big Papi" Ortiz DH .283/.386/.533

Josh Hamilton RF .289/.356/.540

Billy Butler 1B .300/.368/.490

Will Middlebrooks 3B .277/.367/.459

Jonny Gomes/Ryan Khalish LF .244/.328/.412

Lavarnway/Ross C .248/.328/.425

Jose Iglesias SS .240/.285/.283

I really like the 3,4,5 positions in this lineup and I think minus Iglesius there is a lot of run scoring potential. In fact, I think this could be the best middle of the lineup east of Detroit. Also, while the trades may have have some impact on our farm system the best players (Barns, Brentz, Boegarts) are protected. Based on some very hurried calculations, this team could score as well as any. I calculated around 750 runs scored but I think I missed some.

Starting Pitchers

John Lester

Clay Bucholz

Alex Cobb (?)

Dan Haren

John Lackey/ Alfredo Aceves/ Franklin Morales/ Carlos Villanueva.

Relief Pitchers

Currently, I think our relief pitching might actually be our only positive. Tazawa was absolutely lights out at the end of last year and many of the players seem to have found their role. Hopefully, Bard also regains some of his ability.

Total Payroll

148.7 million

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